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Microbiology - Virology

A Melting Pot of Old World Begomoviruses and Their Satellites Infecting a Collection of Gossypium Species in Pakistan
Published: Friday, August 10, 2012
Author: Muhammad Shah Nawaz-ul-Rehman et al.

by Muhammad Shah Nawaz-ul-Rehman, Rob W. Briddon, Claude M. Fauquet

CLCuD in southern Asia is caused by a complex of multiple begomoviruses (whitefly transmitted, single-stranded [ss]DNA viruses) in association with a specific ssDNA satellite; Cotton leaf curl Multan betasatellite (CLCuMuB). A further single ssDNA molecule, for which the collective name alphasatellites has been proposed, is also frequently associated with begomovirus-betasatellite complexes. Multan is in the center of the cotton growing area of Pakistan and has seen some of the worst problems caused by CLCuD. An exhaustive analysis of the diversity of begomoviruses and their satellites occurring in 15 Gossypium species (including G. hirsutum, the mainstay of Pakistan's cotton production) that are maintained in an orchard in the vicinity of Multan has been conducted using f29 DNA polymerase-mediated rolling-circle amplification, cloning and sequence analysis. The non-cultivated Gossypium species, including non-symptomatic plants, were found to harbor a much greater diversity of begomoviruses and satellites than found in the cultivated G. hirsutum. Furthermore an African cassava mosaic virus (a virus previously only identified in Africa) DNA-A component and a Jatropha curcas mosaic virus (a virus occurring only in southern India) DNA-B component were identified. Consistent with earlier studies of cotton in southern Asia, only a single species of betasatellite, CLCuMuB, was identified. The diversity of alphasatellites was much greater, with many previously unknown species, in the non-cultivated cotton species than in G. hirsutum. Inoculation of newly identified components showed them to be competent for symptomatic infection of Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The significance of the findings with respect to our understanding of the role of host selection in virus diversity in crops and the geographical spread of viruses by human activity are discussed.